Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has said the next likely European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen should "not interfere" with Phil Hogan's re-appointment as an EU commissioner for "flyer" gender balance reasons.
Last week, Ms von der Leyen said she wanted all EU members to nominate a man and a woman for EU commissioner roles.
The call was rejected by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who said Ireland has already nominated Phil Hogan for a second five-year term.
And, speaking on RTE Radio's Today With Sean O'Rourke show, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly agreed, saying said Ms von der Leyen should not put forward "flyer" arguments.
"Thirteen countries have already nominated, and she should not interfere with that. To suggest countries who have already nominated now should go back and nominate a second person, I don't think that is a flyer," he said.
Mr Kelly's comment came as Labour leader Brendan Howlin separately told Mr Varadkar not to back down on the backstop after both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt claimed it is "dead".
In Monday's final Conservative party leadership debate, both of the potential next British prime ministers said the backstop must be ditched.
However, Mr Howlin said Ireland must not back down, saying the claim is "removed from reality".